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Todd Bertuzzi’s hit takes a chunk out of Ryan Johnson’s ear

Mar 29, 2011, 12:29 AM EDT

johnsonear Getty Images

It might be the most redundant point in hockey – even more than criticizing the league’s discipline system or the seriousness of concussions – but it still must be said.

Hockey players are ridiculously tough.

CSN Chicago’s Tracey Myers reports that Detroit Red Wings winger Todd Bertuzzi went out of his way to apologize to Chicago Blackhawks forward Ryan Johnson after landing his ill-fated elbow, but hopefully he was speaking into Johnson’s good ear. That’s because’s Brian Hedger writes that Johnson needed a trainer to sew part of his ear back because of the hit.

After ruining your urge for a midnight snack, Johnson was quick to point out that it wasn’t a “Tyson-sized” chunk. Johnson reportedly said that he wasn’t really bothered by it, a claim backed up by the fact that he he returned to action during the same first period.

He also said that he didn’t get the feeling Bertuzzi intended to injure him with the hit, even though he hasn’t seen footage of the check yet. Who knows if Johnson shaking off the hit will affect Bertuzzi’s punishment – Versus blogger Steve Lepore is among those who think that the league should suspend Bertuzzi for the rest of the regular season, if not more – but it can’t hurt Big Bert’s cause.

So here are two things we can continue to say: hockey fans still hold a grudge against Todd Bertuzzi (fair nor not) and hockey players are still absurdly tough. It looks like we can’t say that Johnson holds a grudge against Bertuzzi, though.

For more on the Blackhawks-Red Wings game, check out the PHT recap. For even more, check out Joel Quenneville’s comments that this was the team’s biggest win of the season and Jonathan Toews’ claims that a hot Chicago team is talented enough to beat any team in the league.

  1. musingmaryann - Mar 29, 2011 at 9:35 AM

    While the NHL is in a quagmire of suspensions and concussions, I am willing to bet that Bertuzzi gets two games at the most, if anything at all. While they claim that intent needs to be there, which it was, they bend the truth when they say that the extent of the injury doesn’t play a part in their decision.

    The fact that Johnson got stitched up and came back out on the ice will shows what he is made of yet it will also give points in Bertuzzi’s corner and Colin Campbell will be leaning toward no suspension. – time already served will be it.

    While the rest of us are looking for actions, not words, from the NHL – words will be all we get today. Put another way, Ryan Johnson isn’t Crosby – if a hit like this one was made on Crosby, the League’s golden child, Bertuzzi would be cleaning out his locker for the season.

    • kovyisback - Mar 29, 2011 at 12:33 PM

      why would you ruin a perfectly reasonable critique on the NHL’s disciplinary decisions by bringing your post back to the same old “the league only cares about Crosby” argument? have you forgotten that Sid is out with a concussion from 2 unpunished hits to the head? check out my edited version of your last paragraph:

      “While the rest of us are looking for actions, not words, from the NHL – words will be all we get today.” — see how easy that was?

      the key is that we are all looking for some consistent response by the league on shots to the head, but it never seems to happen.

      • musingmaryann - Mar 29, 2011 at 1:42 PM

        Kovy – my point was and still is that who the players are who involved in the hit play an underlying role in what kind of action the League takes. They claim they focus only on the hit yet it is clear that there are cases when the player’s star-power carries weight with the League when is shouldn’t be a factor at all.

        You could insert any number of names in there instead of Crosby – Ovechkin, Sedins, Corey Perry, St. Louis, Stamkos, Kesler, etc.

      • kovyisback - Mar 29, 2011 at 4:35 PM

        so we are on the same team :p just a hypersensitive pens fan, that’s all. maryann ftw

  2. juliepie628 - Mar 29, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    “needed a trainer to SOW part of his ear back because of the hit.”

    SOW???? The word you’re looking for here is SEW.

  3. antiqueff - Mar 29, 2011 at 12:45 PM

    As usual, the NHL drops the ball again. After seeing the replay of Bertuzzi’s hit on Johnson, it meets the criteria for a blind side hit to the head as Rule 48 outlines the infraction. And the league isn’t even going to look at it!!! I guess that would be because Johnson wasn’t seriously injured. Proves, once again that the NHL says one thing and does another. What a joke! This is why they will never eliminate these types of player actions. Colin “I have no testicles” Campbell is a disgrace to the league.
    As musingmaryann said above, had that hit been on Crosby or Ovechkin, Bertuzzi would be done for the year. Since Johnson is not a big star, it doesn’t count even though Bertuzzi is a repeat offender. The NHL will never do anything to curb this type of goonism until a player is either made a quadriplegic or, worse, killed. Heck, even the Versus announcers (who also do the games for NBC Sports) said he should be suspended long-term. The only people that watched that game and would say that Bertuzzi shouldn’t get suspended are Detroit fans. Oh wait, Detroit is the league’s team. Never mind!

    • polegojim - Mar 29, 2011 at 9:49 PM


      FACING FORWARD and NOT LOOKING UP ICE isn’t Todd Bertuzzi’s fault.

      That was an EXCELLENT HOCKEY PLAY and HIT by Todd Bertuzzi. Legal hit-right in the mans face.

      How much more FACING FORWARD does a guy need to be, EH?

      Go back into your closet and put on your dresses – Suggestion: watch The Knitting Channel.

    • polegojim - Mar 29, 2011 at 9:51 PM

      Suggestion: When you’re skating with the puck… LOOK…UP…ICE. and with his team mates YELLING AT HIM… is he deaf too?

      You’re taught that in JUNIOR HOCKEY, right?

      But OK, yes, this is OUR LEAGUE, and thank you. Welcome to HockeyTown.

      Good for you Bert, legal and excellent hit. The man should’ve seen you coming.


  4. jimboplyr625 - Mar 30, 2011 at 9:29 AM

    bertuzzi is the dirtiest player in hockey ,the pr*ck should be in jail,anyone sticking up for him is a f*cking moron,also add cooke to that comment

  5. derpdederpdederp - Mar 31, 2011 at 12:30 AM

    why is this guy still allowed to play? time to get him out of the league, hes already played 5 more season than hes deserved too considering steve moore will never bring home a paycheck for playing hockey again

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